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Among the many concerns that car enthusiasts have had since the rise of electric vehicles is the potential demise of the manual transmission. The thought of shifting your own gears in a Toyota hybrid is enticing to many enthusiasts. On the other hand, the idea of losing the feeling of engaging with a car by shifting gears oneself is a scary thought. However, Toyota is taking a different approach by filing patents for mechanisms allowing electric vehicles to simulate the experience of driving a manual transmission car.

Can you get a manual Toyota hybrid?

A white 2023 Toyota Supra parked in a studio
2023 Toyota Supra MT | Toyota

Toyota filed patents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to describe a mechanism to comfort drivers who prefer manual transmissions and offer an engaging experience to those who want to have fun. The system will enable electric vehicles to switch between standard driving and a simulated H-pattern manual control mode. The system uses “pseudo-clutch” and “pseudo-shifter” inputs to adjust the torque produced by the electric motor.

The system’s objective is to provide a driving experience like that of a manual car without its peculiar challenges. The mechanism would allow the electric vehicle to mimic the operation of a manual gearbox to provide a more engaging driving experience for those accustomed to driving manual transmissions. The H-pattern manual control mode will enable drivers to shift gears manually and provide a more engaging driving experience.

How does the manual Toyota hybrid work?

brown leather 2023 Toyota Supra interior
2023 Toyota Supra MT | Toyota

The manual transmission system in the Toyota hybrid vehicle uses several components to simulate the manual gearbox. For example, the system uses a third pedal equipped with a “pedal reaction force generator”. It applies force and vibrations to the driver’s foot to mimic the feeling of a partially disengaged clutch. Similarly, the shifter has a “reaction force actuator” that provides resistance while adjusting based on the shifter’s position and pseudo-clutch pedal.

The powertrain control module then utilizes this information to vary the vehicle output based on the simulated engine RPM displayed on a tachometer. If the simulated RPM falls too low, the electric motor will simulate the car stalling. This system will offer drivers a manual driving experience without requiring a traditional combustion engine.

What is the market for manual transmission hybrid cars?

Three pedals in a 2023 Toyota Supra
2023 Toyota Supra MT | Toyota

The market for manual transmission hybrids is small, but Toyota sees potential. The brand is set on recreating the feel of driving a manual transmission car with an electric vehicle. According to Toyota, the system will offer drivers a familiar driving experience. All the while, reducing the difficulties of operating a traditional manual transmission. The company believes this innovation may attract drivers who want to experience the excitement of a manual transmission without the hassle of traditional uses.

However, it remains to be seen whether there is a significant demand for this type of hybrid vehicle. The patents offer a unique selling point. Meanwhile, the question remains whether there is a sufficient market for this type of innovation. Ultimately, the success of this technology will depend on if drivers find it appealing. Additionally, whether it can provide a tangible benefit over existing options.

A Toyota hybrid you can row gears in is on its way

In conclusion, Toyota’s patents for a simulated manual transmission for electric vehicles may seem like a clever invention. Still, it needs to be clarified that such a system is a real need. It is possible that such a system could serve as a trainer car for someone to learn and practice a manual transmission. Ultimately, Toyota’s invention is an exciting solution looking for a problem. However, it shows that automakers still want to provide engaging driving experiences, even when transitioning to electric powertrains.


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